Drivers could pay even more in tolls to cross the Columbia River if a backup plan to pay Washington’s share of the Columbia River Crossing is passed.
State Sen. Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver, introduced a bill late Thursday that would let the state borrow $450 million in bonds for the CRC project. Those bonds would then be repaid through tolling and fuel-tax revenue.
CRC leaders already are banking on tolls to generate as much as $1.3 billion toward the $3.4 billion project. Washington and Oregon are both expected to come up with $450 million as to help pay for the CRC. Other money would come from federal sources.
“This is a Plan B,” Cleveland said by phone on Thursday. “This bill isn’t the preferred course for our state to identify funding for this project. Ideally, this project should be part of the transportation budget, and it’s my hope that that’s going to be the case.”